Community against police station closure

Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station.
Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station.

Residents from Mansfield Woodhouse vociferously showed their opposition to plans to close the town’s police station during the public meeting held on Saturday.

Though the meeting was not well attended and the police were criticised for not advertising it more widely, those who did go had strong feelings.

Resident Bill Pearson asked if it was worth moving to save just £40,000 a year and whether other options for the station will be considered.

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “I agree with you, a £40,000 saving here isn’t very much, but if I can find 25 £40,000 savings, I have saved £1m.”

He added that the police will consider renting out the station to community groups.

“The closure is not about getting the capital receipts, but getting the running costs down,” he added.

The importance of not leaving the old station lying empty was brought up several times, as was the cost of maintaining an unused facility.

Mansfield district councillors Katrina Atherton and Amanda Fisher raised this point and also queried the way in which the consultation is being carried out.

In response Mr Tipping said: “We are not selling the building to make money out of the sale.

“If there are people who have got a community use for the building, we will really be quite happy to talk about it.”

Resident Roger Longden said that he wanted a dominant police station to provide reassurance to the community.

Chief Supt Ak Khan said that if the station was to relocate to Market Place, signage will be put up on the building and there will be a presence in it.

Nottinghamshire County councillor Joyce Bosnjak said that the purpose-built police station is something of a ‘white elephant’.

But she said that she would ‘bend over backwards’ to save it now.

Of moving to the Market Place premises, she said: “If it meant that we could keep our policing, I could compromise with that.”